interview with Patrick Savelkoul
by Ian C Stewart
Is there anything you're feeling particularly mouthy about at the moment?
Well, from next week on I will be on holiday in Turkey and I am quite excited about it since it already was like five years ago that I really had a holidayÖ so I will be cooking my nuts in the hot sun for two whole weeks.
Where did the name Callenish Circle come from?
Callenish Circle is a Stonehenge a circle in the northwest of Scotland, situated on the little island Lewis. Itís some kind of mythological place.
Nowadays I think we have created our own sound, without bragging that we play something new or completely original. In the early days we were inspired by bands like Death, old Paradise Lost, Bolt Thrower and Pestilence. We started out as a cover band playing tunes by these bands.
What made you decide to start making music of your own?
As soon as we got a steady lineup, in 1994, we just wanted to create some music of our own. Things got out of hand a little bit because almost ten years later we got signed with Metal Blade Records, did almost two hundred shows and released four full length albums, a mCD and a demo.
Explain your musical evolution if you can.
We developed from a rather doomy death metal band into a modern sounding extreme death, thrash war machine and we are ready to kill and destroy. Hell yeah, I love that description! Definitely our own personal tastes because we play the music we like ourselves. We always did that and will always do that.
Where do you see your music heading?
Hard to say since we donít really plan how our music will sound on the next albums. But if we keep going in the same direction, the new album will definitely not be less extreme!
What kind of amplification do you use onstage? Is your stage volume ungodly loud?
Ron has two Marshall speakers 4x15s and Remy has two Mesa Boogie 4x15s. On stage, we try to keep the volume as low as possible in order to have a good sound on stage. Thatís the biggest mistake bands make. Way too high volume of their own backline and the sound turns into fucking chaos on stage.
Can you describe your songwriting methods?
Usually it starts with Ronn or Rocco bringing new riffs or ideas to rehearsal and from that point on we start working. It can take months before a song is finished since we are really picky when it comes to writing new material.
What's your favorite place to play live?
We got pretty good response in Benelux and Germany but the shows in Czech Republic and Spain were the absolute highlights so far. Killer audiences.
Do you have any Spinal Tap tour stories?
Well, just the time we lost two wheels of the tourbus in France on our way to the last show of the European Tour.
Will there be a tour anytime soon?
This summer we'll play Wacken Open Air and Summer Breeze Festival in Germany and in October we will hit the road with Exodus, Nuclear Assault, Agent Steel with the Bonded By Metal Over Europe Tour.
Do you have obsessive fans?
Sometimes people can get on your nerves, but, hey, thatís part of the deal. Mostly I can handle that. If not, I just tell them to fuck off.
How is the current label situation working out?
Absolutely great. No complaints on the cooperation with Metal Blade so far. They do a hell of a job promoting Callenish Circle.
Will there be a DVD of your stuff?
No concrete plans yet. Maybe in the future. Time will tell.
How has the internet affected the band?
Same as other bands, I guess. Personally, I like it because it makes communication so much easier than in the past. Imagine writing letters and faxes by hand. I donít want to think about that.
What's the biggest audience you've played to?
About 2000-3000 people I guess. I didnít really count them!
What current music people are you excited about? Is there anyone you'd like to collaborate with?
To be honest, I hardly get excited about new metal-music or new bands these days. I also haven't been listening to metal too much lately. I'd like to work with some famous trance dance DJs and create a cool mix of metal and trance dance. DJ Disco Thrash is in the fucking house!
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